Just this week I came across three disconcerting stories. The first involved the “Jon Stewart” of Egypt – Bassem Youssef, a satirist who pokes fun at the Egyptian government and its radical Islamist leader, Mohamed Morsi. (hhtp://roncan.net/YmpTKE ) State prosecutors in Egypt issued a warrant for his arrest. The second story is closer to home. Just over the border, where Palestinians (click to find out why the word Palestinian is illegitimate) are supposedly fighting for freedom, corrupt politicians oppress their citizens.
“The Palestinian Authority police on Friday night released Palestinian journalist Mamdouh Hamamreh from prison, one day after he had been sentenced to one year in prison for insulting PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook.” (http://roncan.net/16abDEG) He had posted a picture of the President comparing him “to a villain and traitor who appeared in a popular Syrian TV production.” (see photo above)
Apparently Abbas gets his feelings hurt quickly so the man was arrested. Only because of outside pressure from organizations like reporters without borders, was he released.
The final story (http://roncan.net/16a6g8E) surrounds another Palestinian man who merely liked something on Facebook that apparently the PA President didn’t like. He was detained for 17 days before being sentenced to six months in jail. With the bang of a gavel, Anas Ismail will pay for the click of his mouse. (This sentence is priceless – you are getting so good!)
All this is deeply troubling as, at least the PA, looks to the west for help in building another Arab state on the border of Israel. If they want a nation on our border, then the least they can do is offer their Arabs the same freedoms the Arabs of Israel enjoy everyday.
Israeli Arabs make up about 20% or 1.5 million of Israel’s population. And they enjoy all the rights that Jewish citizens do. While they are a minority, this is their country too. They are represented in the Knesset. How amazing, while Arabs teach their young that Jews are evil, bloodthirsty warmongers (who kidnap Arab children and use their blood for matzah on Passover), the freest, most liberated Arabs in the entire Middle East live and prosper in the Jewish State!
In Israel Arabs don’t get hauled off to jail for Facebook likes. So much of our television humor is based on poking fun at politicians, and so far Tal Friedman and Eyal Kitzis (well-known Israeli satirists) have not been summoned to Netanyahu’s office.
If the new Egypt, the new Libya, the Palestinians and the soon to be new Syria want western aid, they should be made to adopt western values when it comes to basic human rights and freedom of speech. Their leaders are accustomed to using strong-arm tactics to silence people. It is what they know. They don’t even see it as wrong.
Sensitivity Training for Dictators
If a man cracks a joke about women at work, or a heterosexual pokes fun at a homosexual, we demand that they get sensitivity training. But the UN Human Resource department has yet to create a sensitivity training program for despot leaders who imprison at will, silence journalists and oppress women. I would love to see a classroom filled with the likes of Morsi, Assad, Abbas, Ahmadinejad, Putin and other megalomaniacs, as a female teacher walks in to begin their sensitivity training. Its just too bad Hugo Chavez had to die and miss the class.
We live in a new world where Arabs and others, once oppressed, are able through Facebook and the internet in general, to see the freedoms other countries enjoy, and they are jealous. While the Arab Spring seems to have been hijacked by jihadists in Egypt, we can only hope that the pro-democracy forces will stand up to the religious fanatics and the western nations will do all they can to help them.
Islam has proven to be one of the most oppressive philosophies in world history. And the west has proven, from Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler to Obama’s speech in Cairo, to be the most naïve group of nations ever. It is time to wake and hold Arab nations accountable.